JFK’s Antwan Brown represents Eagles one final time in Jack Arvin Classic
Champion's McDermott flashes one last time
HUBBARD — For one last time as a high schooler, Kennedy’s Antwan Brown got to be a human cheat code.
Brown rushed for two touchdowns and had multiple “could have been” scores as he picked up MVP honors and helped Trumbull County get the win, 31-21, in the Jack Arvin All-Star Classic on Thursday at Hubbard Memorial Stadium.
While fun was the top priority, that didn’t stop the Trumbull squad from coming out with the intention to take home a victory.
“Today we were just having fun, but you know we wanted to win so of course we came out with a little enthusiasm,” Brown said. “We came out a little hungry. We had something to prove. We’re Trumbull (County kids), we had to prove that we’re the best out here, so we came out here and did what we did.”
Brown, who was likened to Marshawn Lynch by Kennedy coach Dom Prologo during the playoffs this past year, did his best “Beast Mode” impression in his last time representing Kennedy as an active athlete.
Brown was a threat on both sides of the ball Thursday, operating as the Trumbull team’s primary ball carrier and was also responsible for guarding the top Mahoning receivers at cornerback.
In preparation for Thursday’s game, Brown just wanted to come out, play his best and have some fun. Knowing it was his last high school game, and for many others, the last time they’d ever hit the gridiron, having a good time with the other guys was a priority.
“It’s less about focus, and more about showing off your skills and having fun with your teammates,” Brown said. “It’s the last high school game you’re ever going to play so you want to make the best of it.”
Brown plans on attending the University of Akron in the fall and will be joining the football program as a walk-on with plans to play defensive back.
Obviously walking onto a program puts Brown in a much different position than if he were a scholarship player. He’s going in with a killer mentality, but he’s ready to accept the role he earns and keep working from there.
“You got to come in hungry,” Brown said. “You’ve got to come in with a mindset that you’re coming in to take somebody’s spot, but also to be a good teammate as well.”
Also lining up in the backfield for Trumbull County was Champion’s Keegan McDermott.
In his final game on a football field, the Golden Flash not only lined up as a running back, but was the kicker for Trumbull County as well.
The tailback/kicker combo was all smiles after the game.
“I had a blast,” McDermott said. “I haven’t kicked a football in six months, so I feel like I did pretty good overall.”
Lining up alongside some of the players he’s played against for years is something McDermott has been looking forward to for a while.
Like most tailbacks, McDermott, almost like a reflex, lobbed credit to his offensive linemen. It was a completely different group than he was used to over the last four years,
“I had an offensive line that averaged 6-foot-5, I didn’t have to do my normal preparation,” McDermott said with a laugh. “It was fun. I had holes that were like 20 feet wide.”
Those holes allowed McDermott to score on a 10-yard rush.
This is going to be his final game on the gridiron however. While originally interested in going to school to play football and drawing interest from Division I programs like Valparaiso, McDermott is opting to end his career here.
Instead of college, McDermott has decided to work toward picking up a trade and becoming an electrician. He goes from wearing a bolt of electricity on his football helmet to working with electricity as a day job.
As he posed for pictures with friends and Trumbull teammates after the game, McDermott was just proud to represent Champion one last time.
“It was great,” he said. “It’s the last time I get to do it and I had a blast.”